by Pastor Red
"Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them. ... The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!" (Psalm 111:2 & 10)
Lutherans have always been big on education. We get that inclination honestly, considering that the founding of our church started the university at Wittenberg, Germany. Our church is rooted in the study of the Word over & above all other spiritual or devotional activities. Among the great off-shoots of founding the Evangelical/Lutheran faith was the refining of the German language & German poetry & music. Still, in many Lutheran families, you can be silly, you can be reckless, & you can be outright rebellious, but never ever dream of being ignorant. So I declare today in this second month of 2015, we need to devote ourselves to even more study, more learning, more & more searching in the Word for all we need for this life! (Yes, I mean it. I used an exclamation point!)
But, to help guide you in your journey in the Word, I want to guide you into some specific paths through God's wonderful work. You can study just basic theology (the study of God), but that can be too big of a bite to start chewing on. Narrowing it down to Christology (the study of Jesus Christ) makes it a little more manageable, while taking you directly into Gospel territory. Any study of Christ will have to include at least a little trip into hamartiology (the study of sin) to understand the reason for Christ's sacrifice for us. And while you are delving into sin, you will have to skirt the roads of diabology (the study of the Devil) or satanology (guess), along with demonology (the study of demons), to get a firm appreciation of our enemies who wish to see us languish in iniquity. Don't get caught up in the study of the evil ones for too long, or you may lose yourself in tartarology (the study of hell).
A faithful student will stay rooted in Christ & make a thorough investigation into all the joys of soteriology (the study of salvation). This will by necessity lead anyone into the awesome wonders of thaumatology (the study of miracles). And no one could ever hope to learn of Christ without also gaining a good deal of knowledge about his mother in Mariology (I already told you), & how Christ has changed the lives of so many believers. In that vein, a student can see the faithful as a whole in ecclesiology (the study of the church), or individually in hagiology (the study of the saints). For those with a strong constitution, a study of martyrology (the study of martyrs) will show just what some have suffered in defense of the Word of God.
Once the student has a strong foundation in the life, wok, sacrifice, & resurrection of Christ, & how His work has completely & totally recreated our hearts, minds, & lives here & for eternity, then the student can understand the wonders & glories that can be derived from learning more of how God deals with other member of His kingdom in angelogy (the study of angels). Also, with that firm grounding in faith, anyone can stand before a bleak examination of thanatology (the study of death) or even of eschatology (the study of the end times) without any fear of being lost. In fact, a fear of God replaces all other fears with comfort & security in the Father who loves us enough to give His only Son.
As children of God, we have a lot to learn from our Lord & Savior, most importantly about the depths of the riches of His love & grace showered upon us daily. All of His loving-kindness is out on display right in His Word. Study & you will see.